January 1, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) meet on the field after their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

"Pride Bowl" set for Sunday with New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers

With the ungodly amount of college bowl games going on right now there is one that will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday between two professional football teams, The “Pride Bowl.”

The New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers will be playing for just that when kickoff begins at 12:00 p.m. CST.  Well, actually that’s all that is left to play for between these two teams.

The Saints who were expected to come out swinging using the bounty scandal mess as their motivation instead took a dive to the mat and went 0-4 to start their season including a loss against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs who are currently 2-13.

The rest of their season was followed by inconsistent play by their once unstoppable offense and a defense that might has well been categorized as being in a season long training camp as they struggled to grasp defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s scheme.

The Panthers were expected to be a force in the NFC South and snatch the crown from the rest of the teams in their division especially with quarterback Cam Newton looking even better during the offseason.

Although they narrowly lost their first game of the season to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they throttled the Saints the following week in a dominant win.  What followed though was a number of losses, six in fact, that were decided by a touchdown or less.

Both teams seemed to have caught a small spark late in the season with the Saints winning two in a row and the Panthers on a three game win streak heading into Sunday’s contest.

In those wins, both teams have shown that they have the potential to be dominant over their NFC South brethren with the Saints shutting out the Bucs 41-0 and the Panthers clipping the wings of the Atlanta Falcons 30-20.

Neither team is even close to being in contention for the postseason and playing for a draft pick isn’t even an issue(Panthers are currently at #13, the Saints are #15).

So the only thing left to play for on Sunday will be the elation of a win over a division opponent, heading into the offseason with a victory and start laying the foundation for 2013.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers New Orleans Saints

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